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Clark, R | Field Camera | Other | Half Plate

1880s Very little is known about R.Clark and it is not even certain if he was a maker or a retailer. Channing and Dunn have an entry in their book, "British Camera Makers", under the name and address on this camera's label, "R.Clark, 31, Mosley Street, Newcastle.", (they have "Moseley Street"), but they are unable to trace the firm's history, and they know of only one camera with Clark's nameplate: a 1/2 plate mahogany camera, numbered 723, which was sold in a London auction in 1989. Mine is numbered 11. An on-line friend tells me that in 1850 a Robert Clark was at 33, Mosley St. as a Cutler and Surgical Instrument Maker, and an R.Clark is listed in 1890 and 1898 as being at 31, Mosley St. as a Cutler and Optician, so it is likely that he was a retailer. The London Gazette for October 9 1906, reported that on 29th. September 1906, a firm of two partners, George Peacock and John Robert Clark, carrying on business as Cutlers, Opticians and Surgical Instrument Makers at the Mosley Street address, and trading as "Robert Clark", was dissolved and moved to 14, Grainger Street West, Newcastle -upon-Tyne under the sole management of Robert Clark. Because some Camera Makers subsumed their trade under the title of Optician, we may never know if he had a camera making facilty on his premises, but even so, if there is only one other recorded camera with his nameplate, this must be a very rare camera.

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